Family therapy is an appropriate approach for a wide range of teens who are displaying self destructive habits. There is no “typical” teenager because adolescents express themselves in such a variety of behaviors. However, there is often one common theme that runs through the lives of our teenagers: difficulty coping with life’s challenges in a healthy and productive manner. Utilizing an individualized and strengths-based approach, Family Solutions Counseling Center effectively addresses a wide diversity of issues teenagers are often dealing with, such as self-esteem, anger, defiance, anxiety, substance abuse, and depression.
Family therapy is essential when treating adolescents with behavioral or emotional problems. Improving communication between family members and helping both the parents and the teen understand how conflicts can be resolved through improved communication often result in significant improvements in the family relationship. One of the obstacles that can cause parents to delay in getting help for their struggling adolescent is their confusion about the answer to these questions. What truly defines a troubled teen? When does a parent really need to seek intervention?
Many parents find themselves comparing their child to other children. Parents often oscillate between, "My child is not as bad as their kid!" and "Why can't my teen act like that so-and-so's child?" Here is a helpful list that can help identify certain behaviors in adolescents asking for help.
Signs of a troubled teen
- 1. Your child becomes more secretive, and it seems like more than just a desire for greater privacy.
- 2. Your teen has regular, sudden outbursts of anger that are clearly unreasonable and out of proportion to what has caused the anger.
- 3. Your teen regularly misses curfew, does not show up when expected, and lies about his or her whereabouts (i.e. Is not where you expected them to be if you check up on them).
- 4. Your teenager has suddenly changed his or her peer group and hasn't made an effort to let you meet these new friends. The new group may have led to a distinct change in appearance and change in attitude (more sullen, defiant, hostile).
- 5. Your adolescent has stolen money from you or someone you know.
- 6. You suspect your teenager is using alcohol or drugs.
- 7. Your adolescent has extreme mood swings, from depression to elation, and seems to sleep a lot more than usual at times.
- 8. Your child's grades have suddenly dropped and the child has lost interest in the usual activities.
If your teen displays any of these behaviors, then family counseling may be an appropriate next step for your teen and family members. For an experiential approach for parents and children, read for more information about Family Adventure Based Counseling.
- Board Certified Behavior Analyst
- Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- Clinical Psychologist
- American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
- Licensed Professional Counselor
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
- AAMFT Approved Supervisor
- Licensed Addictions Counselor
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker
- Licensed Speech Language Pathologist
- Licensed Occupational Therapist
- Licensed Physical Therapist
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration